How to Do the Basic Pull-up
- Begin from a dead hang: arms fully extended, hands about shoulder width apart (palms facing out for pullups), elbows straight, chest up, shoulders back and tight, eyes trained on the bar above.
- Pull yourself up toward the bar, leading with the chest and keeping your eyes focused on the bar. Drive your elbows toward the floor.
- Clear the bar with your chin.
- Lower yourself in a controlled fashion, then repeat the process.
Things to Remember
- Stay honest when you clear the bar. Don’t lift your chin and strain your neck just so you can say you cleared it. You run the risk of pinching a nerve and cutting off muscular power.
- Keep your body neutral. Don’t swing with your hips to generate momentum on a strict pullup or chinup.
- Keep those shoulder blades tight/retracted. Pulling with a loose shoulder girdle can lead to rotator cuff problems.
Check out our trainers’ video demonstrations of the correct mens and womens pull-up technique.
Trainer Cody demonstrates the correct technique for mens pull-ups.
Trainer Raquel demonstrates the correct technique for a band-assisted womens pull-ups.